The man referred to as "Europe's last dictator" is also now the star of a film—though he's likely not too pleased about it. Lukashenko Goldmine is an 83-minute film by Poland-based opposition news service NEXTA that was dropped onto YouTube on Monday and has now been viewed 3.3 million times. As the name suggests, it's a film about Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and paints a picture of a luxe life replete with planes, Rolls-Royce and Maybach cars, and 18 residences that allegedly involved the use of public funds, reports bne IntelliNews. Reuters reports the video comes as another effort to protest Lukashenko's 2020 reelection—he has ruled for 27 years—gains steam. Euronews reports the allegations are sourced to documents, journalists, and unnamed administration officials.
The film alleges all those assets are "invisible to tax authorities" as Lukashenko's tax statements do not include an entry under the line "personal property." Euronews reports the film faults the EU for directing billions to Belarus and extending "gratuitous" loans to the country to spur economic development and pull it away from Russia. Among the things the film alleges happened instead: Money was used to build housing that citizens bought with mortgages whose interest rates were as high as 24%. In comments made last week, Lukashenko said a fake story was coming and offered a defense: "I have been working as president for a quarter of a century, and if there were already some billions, as they say, or palaces, I would have already been torn to pieces from all sides. I did not steal anything from my state." (Read more Alexander Lukashenko stories.)